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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2015  /  July 2015  /  London International Conference of Historical Geographers

London International Conference of Historical Geographers

UCL Geography’s continuing contribution

London International Conference of Historical Geographers

The 2015 International Conference of Historical Geographers was held at the Royal Geographical Society in London from the 5th to the 10th of July.

UCL Geography was represented by papers from Sam Barton, Caroline Bressey, Richard Dennis, Claire Dwyer, James Kneale, Alan Latham, Nick Mann, Ruth Mason, Sam Randalls, and Harry Stopes, while Hugh Clout participated in a Round Table discussion. There were also contributions from UCL History, History of Art and The Bartlett.

Ruth, James, Sam and Richard all organized sessions (in order, on ‘Materiality and Historical Geography’, ‘Assembling and Disassembling Publand’, ‘Weather and the Geographical Imagination: Historical Geographies of Meteorology in Practice’, and ‘Architectures of Hurry: Mobilities and Modernity in Urban Environments’).

Ruth and Richard also ran fieldtrips, on ‘South Kensington and the 1862 International Exhibition’ and ‘Understanding Victoria Street: Modernity Before Modernism’.

As this eclectic list indicates, all kinds of Historical Geography were represented at the conference!

This was the sixteenth such International Conference. The first was held in Kingston, Ontario, in 1975, when, prominent among the pioneers, UCL Geography was represented by Hugh Prince, Hugh Clout and a very young Richard Dennis. After 40 years, Hugh (Clout) and Richard were among only six ‘survivors’ from that conference in 2015. In 1975 there were around 50 participants. In 2015, more than 700, demonstrating the growing worldwide vitality of historical geography.

Alan Baker’s (Cambridge Geography) opening keynote address noted that the ICHG attracts more delegates from beyond the UK and North America than the annual RGS-IBG conferences, with delegates from China, Japan, Brazil, Russia and many European countries.

There were also keynotes from Catherine Hall (UCL History) and Simon Schaffer (Cambridge History and Philosophy of Science), as well as the first ever British Academy Geography Lecture, delivered by William Cronon (Wisconsin, Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies), on ‘Who reads geography or history anymore? The challenge of audience in a digital age’.

On the final day, groups representing both St Petersburg and Warsaw offered to host the next meeting in 2018. Delegates voted to meet in Warsaw.

Photograph: From left,  Caroline Bressey; Sam Randalls, Alan Latham, Claire Dwyer, James Kneale

For full programme details, see:

For audio file of William Cronon's lecture, see :

For a summary, see:





Some UCL delegates (see below)